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274             A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
It was true. I had discovered in him every sign and token which identifies the high-grade Fakir or Yogi. Even without the memory of my extraordinary experience, I had but to look into his eyes to obtain intuitive confirmation.
What attracted most attention and compelled most admiration was the size and quality of his eyes. They were large and lustrous, strong and commanding, strangely long-fixed when they gazed at me. As I talked to him, there crept over me an irresistible sensation of their duplex power; penetrative and hypnotic at the same time. They read my soul and they then ruled it. They drew from my mind some of its secrets and they compelled me to remain passive before him.
"This is indeed an unexpected pleasure/' I exclaimed. "It is astonishing to me that the only person I should meet in this wild deserted region should be one of your Order."
"You think so?" he responded. "I am not astonished. The hour has struck for this meeting. It is not mere chance that you are talking to me now. I tell you that a highes power than chance has first ordained and then arranged our meeting."
I listened with mildly anticipatory thrill. My thoughts were scurrying to and fro in an effort to take stock of the situation, while my feelings naturally slipped into the mood of veneration which a man of spiritual attainments always draws from me.
And he went on to tell me how the ways of some men cross and criss-cross at the bidding of unseen forces, and how seeming coincidences may be pre-arranged links in a chain of causes destined to have certain effects, He told me other things, too, cdmly referring to himself—without the slightest vanity but as a mere statement of an existent fact—as an Adept.
"It is a word which I prefer to any other; it was good enough for the ancients—including the Egyptians—and it is good enough foi me. In those days the Adept was kno^n and his status accepted; to-day he is practically unknown and the mere fact of his existence scornfully disputed. But the wheel will turn, and your century will be compelled to recognize that ^ the law of spiritual evolution is ever at work, creating inevitably those who can freely function as spiritual beings no less than as material ones."
I felt that what he had told me was true. He was indeed one of those mysterious men of whom Eastern tradition not infrequently speaks—those Adepts who had entered into the councils